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10 Questions about the Thelwall Viaduct

todayThursday 27 April

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Because you asked…

As a visitor to this part of Lymm and Cheshire, you ask some excellent questions about Thelwall Viaduct.

And we get it, as it is somewhat iconic!

So, we have compiled a list of 10 of them with answers to help inform you before your next drive over. So a quick, accessible guide to ponder.

Lymm Radio runs traffic and travels each weekday in breakfast and drivetime, including the Thelwell Viaduct. It would be unusual if we did not feature it. But is it more than just a travel report?

In fact, over the years, the pride of the Viaduct has grown into something people are proud of. It is probably asked about just as much as the Lymm Truck Stop.

1:  What Is the Thelwall Viaduct

A 1,345 metre viaduct crossing the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey near Lymm link Lancashire on the north side of the Mersey on the north side with Cheshire on the south side. Cheshire and Merseyside are separated by the Mersey, while the canal to the south has both banks in Cheshire.

2:  Where is the Thelwell Viaduct?

There are two motorway junctions on the Viaduct: junctions 20 and 21 of the M6 and junctions 9 and 10 of the M56. It is in many ways the link between Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire.

But you cannot rule out that it is also the gateway to Manchester Airport and North Wales. If you travel from that side of Scotland to The West Midlands, you will go over the Thelwell Viaduct.

3:  Is the Thellwell Viaduct One Bridge?

The Viaduct connects two bridges: When it opened in July 1963, it was the longest motorway bridge in Britain with a length of 4,414 feet; In 1995, a 4,500-foot road was opened on the southbound side of the street. The longest single span in the canal is 336 feet.

Yes, it is scientific, right?

4:  Why is the Thelwall Viaduct always being repaired?

The bridge is a bridge, so it needs plenty of work to meet proper health and safety requirements. There have been some close shaves. After all, the Thelwall Viaduct needs upkeep, right?

A failed roller bearing forced the closure of the northbound lanes in July 2002. The M6 carried between 150,000 and 160,000 cars a day during that time.

In 2005, the Viaduct was fully reopened to traffic. However, it was partly closed at night during remediation. It cost £52 million to replace 148 bearings in all.

5:  Why does it always appear on your traffic and travel reports?

When high-sided vehicles are severely affected by strong wind gusts, the openness of their sides and the wind force them to slow down. As a result, lanes have been closed several times.

However, the open sides of the bridge are a deliberate design decision to prevent snowdrifts from accumulating on the carriageways. In addition, delays on the M62 and M56 can significantly impact.

6:  Is the Viaduct Iconic?

Without a doubt!  Sometimes people drive to the bottom and stop for tea and cake. That’s not a good idea.

In April 2011, 5,000 people played a massive free party under the bridge. So it became a party focal point for a while, even though nobody was ever sure how many people were coming.

Those numbers have never been confirmed.

7:  Is there often an accident?

Well, of course, like any motorway in the UK. But there is one that stands out.

On 13 September 1971, thick fog led to a multi-vehicle crash on the Viaduct. Over 200 trucks, cars, and tanks piled up. Ten people died, 70 were injured, and five vehicles burned to the ground.

There’s no doubt that this was the worst accident ever on British roads.

8:  What is the River Mersey? I thought it was in Liverpool?

Haha, think again. Yes, of course, the Mersey is core to Liverpool, but it is more complicated than that. Stockport is the starting point of the Mersey, where the Tame meets the Goyt.

Flowing westward through southern Manchester, it eventually enters the Manchester Ship Canal at Irlam and becomes part of the canal, maintaining its water level. After leaving the canal, four miles (6.4 km), the river widens in Warrington. Passing through Runcorn and Widnes, it then narrows.

When it reaches its widest point near Ellesmere Port, the river opens into a large estuary that stretches 3 miles (4.8 km) from Runcorn to the coast.

On the Wirral Peninsula to the west, the estuary narrows and empties into Liverpool Bay as it turns north. A total of 70.33 miles (113 km) flow through the river.

9:  What is the location of the Mersey-Manchester Ship Canal meeting?

Manchester Ship Canal meets the Mersey near Irlam, near Manchester. From here, the Mersey joins the Manchester Ship Canal for a few miles before leaving through the other side of the canal, just east of Warrington.

10:  Is Thelwall Viaduct the biggest in the UK?

Nope, the biggest is the Welland Viaduct. Also known as the Harringworth Viaduct, the Welland Viaduct crosses the valley of the River Welland between Harringworth in Northamptonshire and Seaton in Rutland. Over one kilometre long, completed in 1878 and with 82 arches, the bridge is the longest masonry viaduct across a valley in Britain.

Well, you can’t win them all!

Written by: ian

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